My Winthrop Experience

Name: Linda Driggers Williams '64, '69, '80
Residence: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Affiliation: 1964, 1969, 1980 Alumna
Gift Designation: Winthrop Fund; Eagle Club; Class of 1964 Endowed Scholarship; Class of 1964 Alumni Programming Endowed Fund

Donor Linda Driggers Williams '64, '69, '80 remembers well all the work her parents did to make her Winthrop experience possible.

Williams's father was a shift worker, and her mother sold Tupperware and World Book Encyclopedias to support their daughter's Winthrop education. Williams cherished her years on campus and earned three degrees — a B.S. in elementary education, a M.A.T. in secondary education and an educational specialist degree.

Williams, a retired educator and school administrator, said she gives to her alma mater to make the Winthrop experience possible for today's students.

"My commitment to supporting scholarships began when I realized how difficult it can be for kids to raise money to go to school," said Williams. And her commitment to education remains steadfast: She and her husband, Charles "Chick" Williams, regularly support the Winthrop Fund, the Eagle Club and the Producer's Circle. The Rock Hill resident is a member of the Alumni Reunion Committee and a former member of the Eagle Club Board and the Alumni Steering Committee. In fact, Williams's service to her alma mater has earned her two prestigious university-wide awards: the 1992 Alumni Distinguished Service Award and the 2014 Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, the Winthrop Alumni Association's highest honor.

Yet even with so many years of service to Winthrop, Williams has no trouble naming what she calls her "greatest accomplishment": leading the charge to raise funds for "Metamorphosis," a bronze sculpture installed on Scholars Walk in fall 2014 — just in time for the Class of 1964's "golden" 50th reunion. Williams also played an integral role in her class's fund-raising efforts to establish the Class of 1964 Endowed Scholarship and the Class of 1964 Alumni Programming Endowed Fund. The class presented Winthrop with a $100,000 check during 2014 Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, the largest amount raised by any class.

Williams said she loves attending events at Winthrop and has no plans to slow down her involvement with the university she loves. And her reason for continuing to give back? It's quite simple.

"Why do I give to Winthrop? Look around. Why would you not give to Winthrop?" said Williams.